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Science Persecuted


(1) Anaxagoras of Clazomʹenæ held opinions in natural science so far in advance of his age that he was accused of impiety, thrown into prison, and condemned to death. Pericles, with great difficulty, got his sentence commuted to fine and banishment.

(2) Virgilius, Bishop of Salzburg, denounced as a heretic by St. Boniface for asserting the existence of antipodes. (Died 784.)

(3) Galileo was imprisoned by the Inquisition for maintaining that the earth moved. In order to get his liberty he “abjured the heresy,” but as he went his way whispered half-audibly, “E pur si muove” (“but nevertheless it does move”). (1564–1642.)

(4) Gebert, who introduced algebra into Christendom, was accused of dealing in the black arts, and shunned as a magician.

(5) Friar Bacon was excommunicated and imprisoned for diabolical knowledge, chiefly on account of his chemical researches. (1214–1294.)

(6) Dr. Faust, the German philosopher, suffered in a similar way in the sixteenth century.

(7) John Dee. (See Dee.)

(8) Robert Grosseteste. (See Grosted.)

(9) Averroes, the Arabian philosopher, who flourished in the twelfth century, was denounced as a heretic and degraded solely on account of his great eminence in natural philosophy and medicine, (He died 1226.)

(10) Andrew Crosse, electrician, who asserted that he had seen certain animals of the genus Acarus, which had been developed by him out of inorganic elements. Crosse was accused of impiety, and was shunned as a “profane man,” who wanted to arrogate to himself the creative power of God. (1784–1855.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Schlemihl (Peter)
Scholastic Divinity
Schoolmaster Abroad (The)
Schoolmistress (The)
Science Persecuted
Scienter Nesciens et Sapiente Indoctus
Scio’s Blind Old Bard
Scipio dismissed the Iberian Maid (Paradise Regained, ii.)
Scissors to Grind
Scone (pron. Skoon)
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